With concerning claims made against Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) on social media in recent days, a 34-year-old pregnant woman said yesterday she is becoming increasingly worried as her due date nears.
“I’m concerned about the what if,” Kenderia Cargill said.
“If I had the money, I would go somewhere else to do it, but PMH is the only place right now. Even before COVID-19, the hospital was not in a good state. So hearing all of the stories now, it’s believable. Once one story comes out, everything comes out. I just hope it’s an in-and-out situation for me.”
The death of a COVID-positive 20-year-old woman who gave birth at PMH recently, and the deaths of twins not long after they were delivered by another mother, are among the stories that have featured prominently on social media.
In both cases, and in others, the hospital has been accused of providing an unacceptable level of care.
Minister of Health Renward Wells has promised to investigate the claims.
“As a father and as a husband who has lost children in the past, the recent claims about PMH are not sitting well with me,” Wells said. “The [Public Hospitals Authority] is investigating all social media reports that have surfaced recently regarding the deaths of the women and new borns.”
It’s not unusual for pregnant women to worry whether the delivery process will go smoothly, but the claims heighten Cargill’s concerns.
“You don’t know what to think when you go in there,” she said.
“You going in there healthy and then you don’t know what might happen so you are scared. When you’re scared everything tends to go down.”
The soon-to-be mother of three said although her pregnancy was healthy thus far, she faces a mental battle.
“I try not to let everything bother me,” she said.
“There’s a lot of pressure of how you’re getting this and how you’re getting that. I had to be strong and remember I’m pregnant.”
Cargill’s concerns about her delivery are only one element of difficulties she and her family are faced with right now.
Both Cargill and her husband work in the tourism industry and have been unemployed since March.
She said the pandemic has forced a new way of living for her family. She never expected life to be this difficult as a result of the pandemic.
“One of the main issues was the rent,” she said.
“I use the government assistance to pay that so I hope they are able to continue it after this month. I also signed up for the social services (assistance) and the Salvation Army for help with groceries.”
With the reopening of schools approaching, her family is faced with another challenge.
“School [is] opening back up and we don’t know where we are going to get the money from to buy these laptops for virtual learning,” she said.
“School stuff have to buy. I had to take my daughter out of private school because no one is working. I don’t know if I’m going to let my kids sit out the semester or what. That is the situation right now. I may have to stay at home and until we get back on track with the hotels.”
Cargill, who is employed with The Reef on Paradise Island, said she has no hope of returning to work in 2020.
“I know the minister (of tourism) said October 15, but I don’t think we will be in that crew to go back,” she said.
“Hopefully January or December. The $150 is not working from the government and I’m pregnant so hopefully, when I go on maternity leave we can use that money to get by.”